The impact of exercise during pregnancy on neonatal outcomes: a randomized controlled trial

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014 Dec;54(6):802-8.


Aim: The effect of exercise training during the course of pregnancy on the newborn's birth weight is unclear. This study examines the effect of aerobic and strength conditioning exercise performed during the second and the third trimester of pregnancy in nulliparous, previously inactive women on the newborn's outcome.

Methods: Sixty-three nulliparous, previously sedentary, were randomly assigned to either an exercise (N.=30) or a control (N.=33) group. The subjects participated in the exercise group (EG) focused on aerobic and strength-conditioning exercise in three sessions for about 20 weeks. We registered the birth weight, birth length, gestational age at time of delivery, Apgar score and head circumference of the newborn.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in mean birth weight, length, head circumference, and length of gestation. There was a significant difference between two groups in Apgar scores at 1 min (P=0.036) and 5 min (P=0.015) with newborns of the EG scoring higher than the CG.

Conclusion: Supervised, aerobic and strength conditioning exercise performed over the second and third trimester of pregnancy does not have a negative impact on the newborn's body size and health.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apgar Score
  • Birth Weight
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / growth & development*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy / physiology*
  • Resistance Training
  • Young Adult